Looking for the Light on the Hill:
modern Labor’s challenges by Troy Bramston
6.30pm Wed, November 16 at Embiggen Books 197-203 Lt Lonsdale St, Melbourne 9662 2062 Please RSVP to events at embiggenbooks dot com or call 03 9662 2062.
Today, the Australian Labor Party is in crisis. Reduced to minority government after just one term, and at rock bottom in the opinion polls, the party seems to be at a defining moment in its history. The perception of the federal government is that it can’t deliver, can’t be trusted, can’t communicate what it stands for, and that it is beholden to independents and the Greens. How did it come to this so soon after Labor’s thumping election win in 2007?
Looking for the Light on the Hill argues that Labor is bedevilled by twin problems: the loss of its intrinsic culture of strong, bold, and innovative leadership; and an identity crisis that has emerged because Labor has failed to refresh its values, philosophy, and purpose for the modern era. Written by a party insider and former Rudd government adviser, the book draws on Labor’s history with fresh perspectives, and includes the secret components of the party’s recent internal review. It also includes new interviews with former party leaders, current and former ministers, and union leaders and party figures — and reveals astonishing opinion-poll results, commissioned exclusively for this book, that demonstrate the depth of the crisis.
Challenged by the Greens on the left and the Coalition on the right, Australia’s oldest political party is in real trouble. Looking for the Light on the Hill shows how Labor can get its mojo back with new policy ideas, a new political strategy, organisational reform, and a refreshing of the party’s values. This book couldn’t be more relevant, more timely — or more necessary.
Troy Bramston has worked as a policy and political adviser in government, opposition, and the private sector. He is a former principal speechwriter for Kevin Rudd and an adviser to the Rudd government.
Bramston now works as a columnist and leader writer with The Australian newspaper, and as a political commentator on Sky News.
Bramston is the editor of a forthcoming collection, For the True Believers: great Labor speeches, editor of The Wran Era (2006), and co-editor of The Hawke Government: a critical retrospective (2003). His feature articles, opinion pieces, and book reviews have been widely published in the nation’s leading newspapers, magazines, and academic journals.
He has been a member of the Labor Party for nearly 20 years, and is a former president of New South Wales Young Labor and a past secretary of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Fabian Society.
Bramston has an economics degree with honours from the University of Sydney, and a master’s degree in politics and international relations from the University of New South Wales.
In 2001, he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the governor-general for his services towards the Centenary of Federation commemorations.
He lives in Sydney and has two children, Madison and Angus.